As mentioned in my , I was flummoxed by where one found the data needed to fill in the wizard provided in the e-book creator for my Table of Contents. After numerous unsuccessful guesses, I had no choice but to resort to the Internet and search the multiple sites that my query generated to see if I could find an answer.
It took a while, but eventually I found what I was looking for -- and an answer so easy that I almost wept at all the time I'd spent trying to figure it out from various on-line and printed publishing instructions. It turned out that for a novel, the confounding "tag-name" requirement was an abbreviation for the heading style used on the chapter titles. In my case, this was was h1 (for heading 1). Enter that into the first box of the wizard and press update and you have your table of contents. It really is that simple. So why couldn't they have just said that in the guide-lines?
I can only assume that the instructions in the e-book creator were written by someone who is so familiar with computer formats, that they have no idea that there are many of us who don't understand the lingo and need a straight-forward translation. I have to admit that my problem was probably aggravated by using a downloaded independent publishing guide -- the one that suggested that the Table of Contents required the creation of an HTML document. It seems that changes to e-book creators are currently happening so fast that even recent guides can be out of date. So my advice to any other would-be e-book publishers is to check the publication dates of any outside material you use to help you in your quest. It could save you a lot of work.
Unfortunately, after uploading the new Table of contents and deleting the original one, I found more errors in the book. While all the unwanted HTML printing at the end had disappeared, there were now two Tables of Contents - one that had links that worked and one that didn't. Plus, I had two cover images! It's quite possible that the two cover images had always been there, but previously when the book opened on a cover page, I never thought of looking to see whether there was anything in front of it -- after all, you wouldn't normally expect there to be, would you? Piece of advice, number two - never take anything for granted!
The whole process was beginning to feel like a comedy of errors, except not particularly funny. It turned out that I hadn't needed to include a cover image and Table of Contents in my original documents as they are uploaded to the creator separately. It seemed that so much of my effort had been futile, but refusing to give up, I reloaded the amended manuscript onto the creator one more time --and finally...yeah!... my e-book was complete!
Thankfully, the next stage -- uploading the e-book file to Amazon for publication -- was a simple process, albeit a quite nerve-wracking one, given my previous experiences. I was so convinced it wouldn't work that I danced around the room when I got the message that my attempt had been successful. The sheer relief was indescribable. And then to go onto Amazon.com the next day and see "Silent Lies" for sale, not only on that site, but also on the UK, German and French sites too, was one big thrill. At last, I was able to update the info on my web-site, www.melparish.com, from "coming soon" to "available now" and start the huge task of notifying everyone I knew about the book's existence.
Will it sell? I hope so, obviously. To get those sales, I know that I'm going to have to do some serious self-promotion - -a somewhat daunting prospect. But for now, I'm just basking in the knowledge that I've finally achieved a long held goal.